With a little convincing by students, Whittier Regional Vocational Technical High School has had a change of heart and will bring back sports immediately.
The change, which brings back football, girls and boys soccer, girls volleyball and cheerleading, requires the school to find additional space off campus. Superintendent Maureen Lynch told WHAV she credits two students in particular for showing her the way.
“I had two amazing kids meet with me yesterday. They were respectful and thoughtful. I haven’t slept much since COVID hit, but I thought about and decided to call Principal Chris Laganas at 10:30 at night to talk,” she told WHAV Thursday.
The students who made their case were a boy and girl, both senior electrical students. One played volleyball and the other played football. When she notified the girl, Lynch said, “She just burst out into tears.”
Lynch recently explained the school hasn’t had the space required by social distancing rules to offer athletics. She said, “A month ago there was talk of variants, talk of another surge and two feet of snow. In a month, a lot has really changed. It’s time to open up.”
The superintendent said the school is looking for additional space, particularly for volleyball, and is eyeing Northern Essex Community College. In addition, she is fast tracking required concussion testing, physicals, hiring coaches and setting up a schedule.
Lynch is excited about the step toward normalcy, saying “It was the first time in a long time that I’ve felt a happiness buzz in the air.”